The Sunshine Economy: Common Challenges, Changing Classrooms

Jun 9, 2014

Credit FlickR/Clover Autry

The school year may be over, but the next chapter in public education begins in less than three months: Common Core State Standards.

However, Florida public school kids won’t follow Common Core, at least not in name. The state legislature this spring eliminated references to Common Core from state education policy. Still, the principles of Common Core remain: more rigorous education standards to better prepare students for college and careers.

The employment stakes of education are huge. In May, the U.S. job market marked a milestone. The number of jobs created since the recession ended is now equal to the number of jobs lost during the economic collapse. But the recovery is lumpy to say the least. The job gains are concentrated among those with at least some college education. The number of people who have solely a high school diploma or less and a job remains well below what it was before the recession.

Employment is just one of the economic issues around education - so is equality.


It's been 60 years since the Supreme Court ordered school desegregation. More than a half century after the landmark Brown versus the Board of Education decision, some South Florida classrooms remain "isolated". The Miami Herald found that the student body at almost half of Miami-Dade County schools - traditional and charter - is comprised of 85% of one racial group.